Experiencing relationship or marriage crisis after IVF is a destination visited by many couples aching for a baby and it's totally understandable because even without IVF the fertility journey can be fracturing.
Because even if IVF has been an amazing development in fertility history, it still pokes painfully at some of our deepest vulnerabilities as women. But before you decide to let go of the relationship, I invite you to read this post.
Ivana inspired this audio and article when she shared her experience of marriage crisis after IVF. What follows is an extract from her message:
"My heart is broken these days, Deirdre.
Not only that I lost my two embryos, but right now I have the feeling / impression that my marriage goes through serious crisis.
These are some of the hardest days of my life."
Thank you Ivana for reaching out during this very painful time and for your courage in sharing how your marriage is being affected by all this. With the intention of supporting you through marriage crisis after IVF, I offer the following 3 tips.
I can well understand that your heart is broken Ivana and I'm reminded of the post I wrote to support you when the IVF failed. In there, you shared that suddenly you had "no perspective, just blackout.".
When I heard that, it was clear to me that you are in an emotional and spiritual process in which you are gestating the 'new you' as a woman. You have arrived, as it were, in the womb space of your own emerging. Hence the darkness. (As I discovered on my own path, often she needs to be born first so you can experience motherhood in the way you truly want to).
This heart break feeling is further validation of this because the heart is the first organ to develop Ivana. As you feel your heart intensely now and the pain as it breaks through - your feminine wisdom is letting you know that this development (of you) is successfully underway. (Needless to say, in our male, patriarchal world such an interpretation will sound crazy. But that doesn't make it any less true!)
So Tip 1 to support you through marriage crisis after IVF is to perceive this heart break as a positive pregnancy test result - confirming the healthy gestation of the new, empowered, authentic version of you! It's not the pregnancy you hope for when you try IVF, but it is the pregnancy that will we support you most now as a woman and a mother. And even if it appears otherwise, it definitely doesn't have to signify the end of your relationship either. Indeed, it can have the opposite effect.
The next piece I would like to address to support you through marriage crisis after IVF, is your comment that "these are some of the hardest days" of your life. You are experiencing an enormous amount of pain Ivana. I don't know who said it first, but this quote has really helped me when feeling overwhelmed by fertility and other hurt.
Pain is a resistance to change.
When I allow myself to consider that viewpoint, it draws me out of the suffering somehow and into exploring the changes in my life that might want to be born. What I am sensing is that your 'old' life (the woman you thought you should be for example) is struggling to allow your new life to evolve.
It's like as if she needs permission before she can do that. And this is totally natural because we have been told that our survival depends on being the 'old' way, that 'good' version of woman. But that is survival Ivana, and you want to thrive in motherhood not just survive.
So, I am inviting you (Tip 2) to interpret this anguish (and what seems to be marriage crisis after IVF) as an invitation to grant yourself permission to surrender to the positive change that is taking place. Even if evidence for that seems to be sparse right now.
Will you do that for this little you Ivana? Because you are the only one who can. (If this brings up anxiety or other emotions just be aware of them, record them in your journal and remember that pain is resistance to change! They are simply inviting you to surrender completely into your beautiful evolution.)
I understand that it is not easy with all the emotions of infertility (as our patriarchal world views it), but you can connect with that feisty, feminine heart of yours that dares to beat so defiantly in this dark space. Because she can feel the fresh future calling her forward - even if are doubting that right now.
Tip 3 to support your through marriage crisis after IVF is to give yourself space here and decide not to make any big decisions for at least six months and preferably longer. Both of you have really been through the mill.
Part of the reason why you feel you are in crisis now is that our male world hasn't allocated room to miscarriage grief and especially the loss of these very short lives. But the feelings are there nonetheless and are likely to emerge between you because you are both trying to come to terms with all of this.
At the moment, convention practically forces us into venting and processing within the relationship. In the future, we will be engaging our feminine wisdom in fertility so there will not be the same expectations of our main relationship. We will ensure that women have the feminine support and space we need for emotional eruptions, withdrawals and everything in between - thereby reducing the pressure on partnerships at this time.
It's not that these eruptions etc. are a bad thing at all. But with the appropriate support we can process negative fertility emotions in a way that empowers us deeply - and allows for positive transformation of you and your relationship. So, give yourself a break here, Ivana, and consider taking special retreat time for you. Not because your marriage is in crisis but because you need to filter, feel and surrender to the new you that is gestating beautifully now!
I hope there was value in this for you and would love to hear your experience of relationship or marriage crisis after IVF. Please share below because your feminine contribution here really, really matters.
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